Charles Barkley says his future with TNT depends on ‘LeBron’s free agency decision this summer’

Charles Barkley

NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley has been apart of the Inside The NBA crew for the past 19 years.

Barkley joined the crew in 2000, shortly after retiring from a 16-year playing career. As you can imagine although the job is fun, it can definitely take a toll over the years.

“The job is easy for us the first two or three months of the season because we’re only working on Thursday but after that it becomes a grind,” Barkley told Fred Ennette on a recent appearance on the Unnecessary Roughness Podcast.

“All-Star is a grind, tournaments are a lot of work you know I watched three college basketball games a day for the last two months and did a rim report on every conference and then you get through March Madness we get to rest for about a week and then we go right into the playoffs so that’s a marathon and then once it’s over you get a summer vacation which is great but this little three month stretch is tough.”

As tough as the grind may get, Chuck insists that he’s still having fun at the analyst desk. As for when he’ll know when it’s time to walk away from Inside the NBA, Barkley insists that he’s taking it one game at a time.

“To be honest with you I’m just taking it year by year,” he said.

“So I’ll talk to Ernie and maybe Kenny at the end of each year, but we’re still having a great time and it’s still a lot of fun.”

Chuck does realize that he has a lot of time ahead of him and would rather spend it doing the things that he really enjoys. 

“I just turned 55 and I want to retire young enough so that I can enjoy life,” he said.

“And I just don’t think that you can work until you’re 65-70 and think that you’re just going to enjoy life. I still think that I’m young enough where I can enjoy life and it’s even better now that I got the new hips. I want to retire young enough to where I can do my golfing and fishing every day. I just don’t feel the need to work to the day I die, you know I’ve been blessed, saved my money, invested it well but you know people who work everyday until they’re dead are stupid.”

In typical Chuck fashion, he also discussed the lack of competition in the NBA and named the one thing that would make him walk away from Inside the NBA earlier than he wants to.

“LeBron’s decision this summer will have a lot to do with how much longer I stay. I hope he stays in Cleveland because if he joins another super team it will just be a waste of time until we get down to the last two teams which isn’t a lot of fun.”


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